A pregnant teenager was brutally beaten by two customers while on the job this weekend over the matter of drinking straws.
Witnesses say a fight broke out Sunday afternoon at a Wendy’s drive-thru off U.S. Highway 40 in Independence.
Tori Repine, 19, is three months pregnant and her face is covered in cuts and bruises. She is recovering at the hospital. An ultrasound shows her unborn baby to be OK.
“One of her co-workers called me and let me know she had been attacked,” said Heather Salcedo, the victim’s mother. “It was horrible."
Witnesses say a purple Dodge Charger pulled through after making an order. An argument escalated into the violence.
“She said you forgot to give us our effin’ straws and she (Repine) said, ‘no ma’am, they’re in your bag,’” Salcedo said.
According to an Independence Police Department incident report, an officer wrote the victim had "multiple scratches" and marks on her face, neck, chest and arms. Repine was transported to a local hospital.
The report states a witness told police Repine was pulled through the window by two black females. A third person then exited the vehicle and began assaulting her. There was a fourth suspect, but the witness could not tell if that individual was a man or a woman.
The witness yelled that Repine was pregnant, but they continued the assault.
"If you would do something like this over straws and ketchup,” Salcedo said. “I'd hate to see what you would do to somebody if you were really upset."
The news of the assault caught the attention of many fast food workers in the metro.
Terrence Wise knows the potential for workplace violence all too well. He's worked in fast food for 20 years.
"I've been assaulted," Wise said. "I've had drinks thrown at me, but I've seen coworkers in situations where they've been robbed and harmed by customers that aren't acting right."
Wise, like many others, watched horrified at news reports of Repine being attacked in the drive-thru. He says this is exactly the scenario Kansas City's fast food workers are talking about when they demand better working conditions and a higher wage.
"Demand that Wendy's and all fast food to protect workers," Wise said. "Give them a living wage and protect them. They can afford it."
Salcedo, meanwhile, says her daughter has been released from the hospital and she's resting comfortably at home. She found out at the hospital she's expecting a baby boy. Doctors say the baby appears to be doing just fine.
Salcedo says police have a good description of the suspects, the car and a license plate number.